Archive for the ‘Turkey’ Category

Happy Belated Christmas!

December 27, 2009

I’m turning into a bad blogger once again, but that’s what New Years resolutions are all about, riiiiight?  Mine this year include writing more.

My Christmas was eventful in completely different way.  I went and got my Turkish residence visa.  Always a pro a leaving things up to the last minute, I got this visa a day before my old one ran out.  My last two visas have been tourist visas, only 90 days, but that wasn’t going to cut it anymore.  Now I am one step closer to being a dual citizen.  The next step is to get legally married to the Hubby here.  Since we only had a common law marriage in the states, it turns out getting married here is more complicated than I imagined.  Can you believe I actually have to get permission from the U.S. Consulate?  Also we have to get blood tests to make sure we’re genetically compatible…haha…little bit too late there!  Also, he has to get a copy of his birth certificate from his father’s home town which is on the other side of the country.  But it’s okay, I have no problem waiting on the marriage thing.  To us we’re already married, and have been for a while.  It’s nice to know we’ve got plenty of time to plan it out and make it special.  Besides, being bundled up in my maternity pants and one of the few shirts that still fit, in this cold and dark weather with no friends or family around in a Turkish court room is not exactly how I pictured my wedding!  Summer time, pretty dress, baby, Mediterranean beach…that’s more like it…

Hope everyone had a great holiday!  Mine was unusual, but special in its own way.

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Slow Day/Survey

November 11, 2009

I woke up very early this morning 6:30 am to be exact.  I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately because I’m getting bigger and the bed is staying the same size.  We currently have a full-sized bed, add a full-sized woman and full-sized man, the bed is a full size too small!  I’m tall, 6’1″, and although my feet don’t hang off the bed, my arms do which makes me sleep with them scrunched up near my body and that is reeking havoc on my shoulders.  I even had him switch places with me last night because the left shoulder was calling it quits.  Today I made it known that all I want for Christmas is a new bed.

I don’t really know what to do with myself in the day time.  We ran all of our errands this morning, ate lunch and now I’m just sitting around.  He’s playing a video game.  We’re both night people.  We both work at night, I cook and clean at night, and I just don’t really ‘wake up’ until the sun goes down.  Also now that we are nine hours ahead of the US, night-time is when we can make business calls and talk to friends and family.  Dawn is our usual bed time.  If we both didn’t love garlic so much, I swear we were vampires…well besides that whole, not craving blood thing…

Annnnyways, in baby news, I’m now 20 weeks, the official half-way mark.  WOOO!  I’ll try my best to take and post new bump pictures tomorrow.

The baby is growing like crazy, but thankfully I haven’t put on too much extra weight, although my appetite is now in overdrive, so we’ll see what happens there.  I have just started to grow out of my clothes believe it or not.  Tomorrow we’re going to go buy my first pair of maternity pants, although I’m dubious about our ability to find a pair long enough for me, Turkish women are fucking tiny.  I’m also anxiously awaiting the bra extenders that my mom has mailed me, anything mailed takes at least two weeks.  My cup size is still the same but the chest circumference is not.  I’m going to try to put off buying new bras as long as possible.

On the medical front, we decided together not to go through with the Down Syndrome screening that the doctor scheduled.  I came to this decision on my own after doing some research, discussed it with the hubs, and he agreed.  First of all, I’m at a very low risk time in my life.  If I was over 35, I would definitely go through with it, but I’m 25, and the risk of having a Downs baby right now is very minimal.  Second, the blood test is known to sometimes result in a false positive, and the only test they can do to actually confirm it is an amniocentesis, which I will NOT do.  Third, all of the other tests and sonograms have looked totally normal, another reason to believe that we are not at risk.  Fourth, and most importantly, there is nothing that can be prevented or treated, nothing would change.  She is our baby and she is already loved no matter what, nothing can change that either.

I think we finally decided on a name and middle name, but I’m keeping that under wraps for now.  Gotta have a little mystery!  😉

Now for a fun survey that Leese tagged me on over at her blog.  If you want to take it, please do!  I’m too lazy too tag people right now.

This is a one-word answer survey, uh oh, I’m gonna try…

1. Where is your cell phone? HUSBAND

2. Your hair? THINNING

3. Your mother? SAINT

4. Your father? SWEETHEART

5. Your favorite food? CHICKENNUGGETS

6. Your dream last night? RANDOM

7. Your favorite drink? MILK

8. Your dream/goal? TRAVEL

9. What room are you in? BEDROOM

10. Your hobby? DRAWING

11. Your fear? POVERTY

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? TRAVELING

13. Where were you last night? BED

14. Something that you aren’t? MEAN

15. Muffins? BLUEBERRY

16. Wish list item? BED!

17. Where did you grow up? AUSTIN

18. Last thing you did? PIZZA

19. What are you wearing? CAPRIS

20. Your TV? NONE

21. Your pets? STATESIDE

22. Friends? MANY

23. Your life? UNPREDICTABLE

24. Your mood? CALM

25. Missing someone? EVERYONE

26. Vehicle? NONE

27. Something you’re not wearing? BRA

28. Your favorite store? DIESEL

29. Your favorite color? PURPLE

30. When was the last time you laughed? DAILYSHOW

31. Last time you cried? HORMONES

32. Your best friend? TORI

33. One place that I go to over and over? GROCERY

34. One person who emails me regularly? MOM

35. Favorite place to eat? HOME

Okay… so now I have to tag 6 people:  Consider yourself tagged!

Cleanin’ out my closet AKA random stuff from my blog folder

October 16, 2009

I have a blog folder on my computer, I’m sure I’m not the only one.  It’s just a growing image folder that contains random pictures that I’ve grabbed off the internet, thinking “hey I can write a blog about that!” but then it gets filed away and forgotten.  Well no more!  Time to clean out my blog folder.

As I was going through them, some clear category emerged.  Number 1:

  • Crazy foreigners on scooters…

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This topic fascinates me because I see this all the time in Turkey.  Set belt?  Nah.  Helmet?  Nah.  Weight restriction?  Nah.  Child seat?  Nah.  Legal?  Yep!

For me this was part of the culture shock from styrofoam-encased, over-protected America.

Category 2:

  • Pictures of Austin:
Congress Avenue Bridge

Congress Avenue Bridge

ACL Festival

ACL Festival

Traffic...

Traffic...

Sigh.

Sigh.

Can you tell I’m homesick?  It’s a beautiful city, go if you ever get the chance.

Category 3:

  • LOLcats (and one dog)

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I sent this one to my best friend as soon as I found it.  She has this cat.

I sent this one to my best friend as soon as I found it. She has this cat.

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Category 4:

  • Pictures of my cats

Pearl

Pearl

Ecko.  Silly kitty jumped off the roof to the top of the patio umbrella, but then was stuck.

Ecko. Silly kitty jumped off the roof to the top of the patio umbrella, but then was stuck.

Leele

Leele

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I miss them, but they’re livin’ fat and happy at my mom’s so it’s okay.

Category 5:

  • Just plain random…

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"Huh??"

"Huh??"

Welp, that’s it for now.  Thanks for helping me clean out my closet, now go have a kickass Friday!


Keepsake

August 21, 2009

I know that I’ve been really quiet lately, and not a very good blogger.  My life has just been in total overdrive the past few weeks.  Exciting things happening though.  We moved into our own apartment.  I can’t put into words how insanely happy it makes me!  This is the first time hubby and I have lived alone together in two years!  We loved living with my mom, but we hated living with his grandmother.  She was crazy, two months there felt like an eternity.  I’m still amazed that we were able to pull this off.  We had to buy everything, furniture, all the appliances, but we managed to afford it AND not go completely broke this month.  Having my birthday this month helped a lot because my family is not the “buy presents” type of family, they’re just the “send money” type of family.  Impersonal, but extremely useful!  I’ll post some pictures of the new place soon.  I feel like we’ve finally put our lives back together again.  Speaking of that, I want to share a song with you all that keeps running through my head.  It’s by one of my favorite bands, State Radio, and it seems to sum up our lives perfectly over the last few months.  It’s a song about pain and loss, but it’s also a hopeful song.  It’s called “Keepsake”

Lyrics:

One gonna heal my body another gonna heal my pain
One gonna settle me down then bring me back up again

I’m gonna put my family back together again

One gonna hold my woman another gonna hold my job
One gonna help me get up, another gonna help me stop

One gonna help me talk right, one gonna lay me down to sleep

(Humming)

One gonna hold my thoughts and another gonna hold my bones
One gonna keep me warm and another gonna keep me cold

One gonna bring religion, right from a Coleman stove
One gonna help me keep, and another gonna help me take.

One gonna run me down (Hell a bullets in my way)

You’re gonna keep my soul it was yours to have long ago

(humming)

I’m gonna buckle my belt around the ceiling pipe
I’m gonna buckle my knees and I’m gonna lock em up tight

I’m gonna hold a pen while you drag my arm across the page

One gonna hold my memories another gonna close the door
One gonna leave me restless another wanting more

You’re gonna keep my soul it was yours to have long ago

Five Weeks

August 4, 2009

I had my first baby-doctor visit today (I know there’s a word for them obsi-something, but I’m feeling too lazy right now)  It went smoothly!  A relief for me because for the past few days I’ve been having some pretty intense abdominal cramps, and I was terrified that I was having a tubal pregnancy or something equally horrific.  Oh how the pregnant mind races…and then I do bad things like go onto pregnancy websites and get freaked out even more.  Hubby kept telling me to calm down and that nothing was wrong (he’s already been through this twice before so nothing really freaks him out at this point) but I kept insisting that we go find a doctor, NOW.  So early this morning I woke up a grumpy husband and forced him out the door to go find a doctor.  We both had low expectations on actually being seen today, but I at least wanted to make an appointment or something.  We had no idea where to go, and things like “dialing information” proved to be useless.  People just go on word of mouth around here, so the nice neighbor lady pointed us down the right street.  We didn’t have a name, number or address to go off of, but he kept asking shop keepers along the way, and they kept pointing down the same street, and we kept walking.  Eventually we got some more specific information and went down a side street, then I spotted a sign that said “Dr.”  Low and behold, out of sheer luck, we found the baby doctor’s office.  Nice, clean, spacious, modern, friendly staff, and the cherry on top…the doctor speaks English!  I was thrilled.

He was able to see us right away.  He asked me all the usual questions, when my last period was, etc, etc, and I described the cramps I had been having.  He assured me that was normal because of rising hormone levels, expanding uterus, and that the smooth muscles in my abdomen were probably just dehydrated.  I just smiled and looked at Hubby’s, “I told you so” face, and whispered to him that his fly was open.  He did a pelvic exam (fun! not.) and then we switched over to the sonogram table and we got to see our tiny little poppy seed.  It’s already the cutest thing, ever.  He let me know that I am 5 weeks along, everything is normal, and the embryo is in the right place (phew).  No heartbeat yet, it’s too early.

After that, we talked for awhile, he told me to double my water intake, avoid lots of carbs for the first few months, and to sleep on my left side.  I had no idea about the left-side sleeping thing, but that’s how you get the best blood-flow to the uterus, so good to know!  He prescribed prenatal vitamins and an extra folic acid supplement.  I go back in two weeks for blood and urine tests, and by then we should be able to hear a heartbeat.

We went home, I threw up for awhile (yep, morning sickness, it’s official) and then managed to eat some green bean salad which settled my stomach a bit.  Then I took a really long nap (on my left side).  I woke up once with a really painful cramp, but I felt relief in knowing my fallopian tube wasn’t about to burst.  I drank some more water and it went away.  He tried to nap with me, but was already too awake, so he took my laptop down to Starbucks to get some work done.  We used to abhor Starbucks, but is a great place to meet interesting people, and they have wifi.  Interesting things always happen to him while he’s there, usually people assuming that he doesn’t speak either English or Turkish until he embarrasses the crap out of them.  For example, today he told me there was a group of Turkish ladies at the next table over and they were obviously gossiping about him and snickering.  For some reason they assumed he was German (that one I don’t get) and thought he was a dumb tourist that didn’t know where to go besides Starbucks.  He kept quiet, until some people he knew showed up and he started conversing with them in Turkish (extra loud so those bitches could hear him).  He said the ladies turned red and made a quick exit after that.  LOL!  I wish I had been there.  People here often assume that I’m German, but that one I get.  At the same time, it also reminds me not to assume that other people around me don’t understand English, and to watch what I say in public!  I don’t want to be like those dumb girls.

Progress…and a new blog!

July 8, 2009

I know I’ve been promising it for weeks, and my new Turkish travel blog is finally on its feet with a grand total of one post, but hey, it’s there!

You can now check out my adventures by going to http://turkdelights.wordpress.com

Now, some inquiring minds might ask, “Why do you need a separate blog for that?  Why not post all your stories and pictures on this one?”

Well…good question.  The short answer is that I really want to return this blog to its original intention, not a blog about me, but about my point of view on TV shows, movies, and silly things I find on the internet.  I’d like to keep my personal life more in the background.

Also, the other big reason is that my family and some of my friends don’t know about this blog and I don’t want them to so I can be free to say whatever the hell I want.  The travel blog is safe for grandma and grandpa.  But you, my bloggy friend, are welcome on both!  Just keep this blog a secret for me 🙂  Oh, who am I kidding?  I’ll get found out if I’m not already.  Also, just so you don’t get confused, I refer to my husband as “Q” on Turkish Delights because 1. That’s his real nickname, and 2. A few members of our family don’t know that we’re married yet, and I don’t want a bunch of angry emails about why they weren’t invited, and then I’ll have to explain that there wasn’t a wedding ceremony…blah blah blah.

In other news, I’m still up to my neck in work, so those Weeds recaps are going to be extra late.  Good news is we scored our first client over here!  They’re a body-building website that needs a re-design for their streaming video players, and we’re also going to sell them space on our servers.  Woot!  Work never stops.

What’s been keeping me going with all this non-stop work is music.  I’ve been thinking about starting a new section at bottom of my posts to discuss what I can’t stop listening to that week, but we’ll see if I can keep that up or not.  This week I cannot stop listening to Adele.  Just when I thought these young Brit soul singers were becoming a dime a dozen, Adele came along and proved me wrong.  Girl has got some pipes!  Her first album, 19, blows her contemporaries like Amy Winehouse and Duffy out of the water.  I have to wait till hubby wakes up and shows me how to hack back into youtube (yes, it’s blocked here) and I’ll post some videos so you can see what I mean.  I can’t get her single “Chasing Pavements” out of my head, and I think she wrote “My Same” about me and hubby.  Just to prove what a music schizo I am, the other album I can’t stop listening to is Pimp to Eat by the Analog Brothers.  Kool Keith with Ice-T…it just doesn’t get better than that!

“Chasing Pavements”

“Cold Shoulder”

If you like these you should also look up her song “Hometown Glory” on youtube as well.  I couldn’t find a version that would allow me to embed it.

I would post some Analog Brothers, but I don’t want to drive you all away.  If you’re feeling extra freaky, look them up.

I’ve got some catching up to do

July 5, 2009

Oi, things are getting right back to normal around here.  How do I know?  We got our internet hooked up, and now I’m up to my neck in work!  Which is fabulous but I’ve had no time for blogging.  I haven’t had time to finish any of my Weeds recaps (I’ve got 503 half done but that’s about it) and the new travel blog is coming along at a snail’s pace.

I am making huge strides in work though.  I finally stopped being stubborn about learning Adobe Illustrator, and now I’m in love with it.  I don’t know what my problem was, I should have learned it along time ago, but I’ve just been holding onto Photoshop since high school and was too afraid to try something new.  It took only a day to get the hang of it, and now I’m attempting to layout a 35 page help manual for a website all in Illustrator.  It takes me hours just layout one page (I’ll get faster with time) but they’re gorgeous pages, and I’m thrilled.  Now I no longer carry the immortal shame of being a graphic designer who doesn’t know Illustrator.

Adana is still treating us well, but we did have a little psycho-drama with Grandma earlier.  She took his cross necklace from our bedside table while we were sleeping and hid it.  She doesn’t understand why it’s important to him, and thinks she’s doing it for his own good (Muslim country, blah blah blah).  We tore the room apart looking for it, she denied taking it, and even called the police to convince us she was innocent.  Even they could tell it was a bunch of stupid drama.  Right after they left, the cross mysteriously showed up in the hat he was wearing and took off right before the police came to the door.  We just pretended like we didn’t find it and stayed out of the house for the rest of the day.  Total waste of an afternoon, I was so pissed, but I was impressed at how well Hubby kept his cool about it.  Needless to say we are ready to move out of here!

He wants to move to Antalya, on the west coast of Turkey, and after seeing some pictures on Google, I’m all for it.  Check it out:

antalya

antalya

I think you can see why I didn’t need much convincing!  It’s a total tourist town, and people have been telling us it’s boring in the off season because no one is there, but that sounds more like a selling point to me.  Plus there’ll be lots more English and American people around so I don’t have to be the deaf-mute in all conversations.

I’ll get back to blogging as soon as I catch up on this work, promise.

Just Some Quick Pics

July 3, 2009

Hey everyone, thanks for the lovely comments.  Back at the internet cafe today, the internet is taking some time to get set up.  I just wanted to hop on here really quick and post some pictures so you can get an idea of what things look like.

Here’s three views from Grandma’s balcony:

6am, looking down the street

6am, looking down the street

Marigolds, and a view of the street

Marigolds, and a view of the street

Looking the other direction

Looking the other direction

More later, gotta run!

We’re in Turkey!

July 1, 2009

Hey, I can’t make this long, but we made it!  We were even on the same flight to Istanbul from Chicago.  The air marshalls were nice, they even let us sit together, and one had a few beers on the flight with us.  BTW, open bar on Turkish Airlines…sweet.

We got delayed in Istanbul for almost eight hours, he had problems at immigration because he only had travel papers from the consulate, no passport.  He had to go to the police station to sign a statement about it.  Everything was fine, it just took forever and I couldn’t go with him.  So lucky for us,we had the number of one his mother’s friends, Orhan.  So instead of sitting in the airport with my thumb up my ass, not knowing were to go or what to do, he and his girlfriend Fatima picked me up.  They were very nice, life savers actually.  They both go to college at UT in Austin and are back in Istanbul for the summer.  They took me to a mall, and we ate kabob in the food court.  Malls here are exactly like the ones in the US, except for the metal detectors.  Then we went to the police station, picked up my hubby (I was so relieved there were no problems) and then we rushed back to the airport to see if we could catch another flight to Adana.  It was 11 PM by this time and we had missed our 8 PM flight long ago.  No problems, they transferred our tickets and we ended up leaving Istanbul at 1 AM.  We got to his grandma’s an hour later and had dinner at her house, watched some divx videos on my laptop (Krod Mandoon) and then passed out around 6 AM.

Today we went to see about a bank account, did some window shopping until we found this internet cafe.  We’re working on getting internet set up and grandma’s apartment.

Everything is going well so far, we’re so happy to be together again, I kept telling him to pinch me on the plane because it felt like I was dreaming.

I’ll take some pictures, Adana is a big city, lots of high rise apartments and designer stores.  Reminds me of a cross between NY and Paris, it’s very cosmopolitan and European.

More to come!

Oh yeah, Tvsnark- I did get your package five minutes before I left on monday, so disregard my previous message.  Thank you so much for the book, I love it!

My Day In Pictures

June 25, 2009

Yesterday I tried to send hubby some money at the jail so I wouldn’t have to drive the 2 1/2 hours down there to deposit it.  I did it wrong though.  Instead of addressing the money order to “Detainee Trust Fund” and addressing the envelope to him like I was supposed to, I did it the other way around.  They can’t cash a money order that’s addressed to him, so they have to mail it back to me.  We’re 90% positive he’s going to be sent next Tuesday which works out perfectly because my reservation is for Monday, which gets me there one day ahead.  Any money left in his commissary account will be given to him in cash when he leaves, so I didn’t want to take any chances, I wanted to get it on his books before the weekend.   So today I drove down to the jail to deposit money, I wish I could have visited him, but that’s only on Saturdays and Sundays.  I took pictures along the way to entertain myself, and I’ll share them with you.

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Here’s a perfect example of how Texans can butcher any word.  The town of Boerne is pronounced like “Bernie” as in “Weekend at Bernie’s” and Seguin is pronounced like “Seegeen”.  We do it to confuse all you non-Texans…

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The Alamo signs, must be in San Antonio!  They want you to remember.

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Another sign that I’m close to Mexico.  Forget guns, they’re smuggling bikes!  Or maybe they’re bikeguns.  Or bikes filled with cocaine.

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South Texas…flat, dry, and 101 degrees.

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The aftermath of a grass fire.

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More scorched earth in Pearsall.  Those things by the fence are burned cactus plants.

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Driving up to the ICE South Texas Detention Center in Pearsall, Tx.

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A vew from the parking lot.  Those boxes are the fully enclosed “yards” for each unit.  Even the top is covered in chain-link fencing.  Hubby says he avoids them, it’s an easy way to find trouble.

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I got in trouble for taking this picture.  Homeland Security isn’t too keen on people photographing their buildings…

I randomly ran into our lawyer in the parking lot, she was down there for her monthly visit to all her clients in there.  I had no idea but she was planning on visiting my husband too.  It was a very nice surprise.  Because he’s about to be sent out of the country, we don’t have any pressing legal matters, but she did want to check up on his well-being and they were also able to discuss how is case went wrong.  Sounds like he was 100% a victim of the system and the mess that occurred after 9/11.  Also his previous lawyer failed to properly notify him that his appeal had been denied in 2002.  We’re going to try to submit paperwork so that he could possibly come back into the US for visits after two years.

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After purchasing a can of liquid crack from the gas station (they were sold out of mocha, wah) there was nothing more to do than settle in for the long ride home.  I took a few more pictures of San Antonio along the way-

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After that long, long drive back home, I went to Victoria’s Secret because I’ve been wearing the same itchy bra for a year.  Lucky for me they were having their semi-annual sale and I scored 3 very comfy bras for 19.99 each.  Sorry, no pictures!  😉

I took a little nap after going to the mall, and then my mother-in-law dropped my oldest step-daughter off at my house.  She surprised me by giving me a three-stone diamond ring, a gift from my hubby.  I was so surprised!  It replaces my promise ring from when we decided to get married a year ago.  We’ve been common law married for more than a year, but we were waiting to get “officially” married when we saved up more money.  Now we’re planning to get married in Turkey.

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How lovely is that?  I love him so much.  And yes, I’m practically albino.

Still preparing for my flight on Monday…five more days!  I can’t believe it.   I’m going to create a dedicated blog for my Turkish adventure, don’t worry I will provide links to it as soon as it is ready.